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518) Anari Part 4 of 9 by Ahmed Iqbal

271 pages

Read 30 and 31/8/2013

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Rafeeq and Raja are very busy planning and plotting to free Dr Shehnaaz. They end up kidnapping Rana’s daughter (Gul) who was coming from London. Gul after knowing how cruel her father is decides to tell the court everything about her father’s crimes. Dr Shehnaaz comes back but Gul gets shot down (supposedly by her father). The welfare project inches forward a little bit but Faryal leaves and Noor Jahan is in trouble.

I had already read these episodes from suspense digest but it’s good to refresh the mind. Noor Jahan is an interesting character and I am looking forward to her.

516) Anari Part 3 of 9 by Ahmed Iqbal

Date I Read: 26/8/13 to 29/8/13

271 pages

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As usual the plot thickens as Rafeeq gets himself involved and then as a result new enemies born. Well the old enemy just gets more wild. I’m talking about Rana.

I really enjoyed this part. It was pretty fast paced and lots of thing happen. Firstly Rafeeq gets blackmailed left right and centre because of his Uncle’s (sufi chacha) but he dies and that finishes. Then a lot happens regarding Shami Badshah. The whole Ghulam Muhammed and Shahab ud Deen story line gets solved.

Things get ugly between Faryal and Rafeeq and the reason is this one woman. Enter, Noor Jahan. She invites Rafeeq to spend nights with her and in return she gives him tips on what’s happening with his enemies.

And one person gets kidnapped and the struggle continues but problems come out of problems.

I’m starting to hate Faryal now too. She is way too possessive. The story shows and shines some light on the daaku (thieves) and ‘jarga’ system which still happens to be in place.

Rating would be 4 out of 5. It just keeps getting better.

509) Anari Part 2 of 9 by Ahmed Iqbal

272 Digest Pages

Date I Read: August 2013

Language: Urdu

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The story of Rafeeq continues in part 2 where he has to face a lot of problems. As they say, more money more problems. And now he has a handful of both. Rafeeq’s lost ancestors had a grand castle and some land which luckily was transferred to Rafeeq as the last owner passed away. And now Rafeeq has to handle the huge task of handling all this and above all in the country of Pakistan where living is hell (well as described by the author after reading this).

In this part the story advanced really well. Iqbal put the foot on the accelerator and I have to praise him for one particular thing. He did not derail the story at all. He did not stretch the side stories too far so that the original storyline gets wiped out from the reader’s mind. Instead he kept the story in mind and increased the pace. Its true, the main storyline, you would think is how Rafeeq manages to run a whole castle and the land with it but there are problems with it and this part deals with those as well as the construction of the castle (or call it a haweli, like a mini castle).

Three main things happens in this part. One is a plot against Rafeeq by Sultan who is his enemy because of Faryal (Rafeeq’s lover now). Sultan is after Faryal because they were engaged and then Faryal did a runner and came to Rafeeq after seeing the film which Sultan directed (heroine was Faryal) flopped. Second is the emotional story of Kasoo and this opens up the main rivalry between Rana Rajab and Rafeeq. Kasoo is a servant of Rana and something happens which made Kasoo come to Rafeeq and now Rana wants him back accusing him of treason. Rafeeq, of course, do not want to give Kasoo back because he knows that Rana being cruel as he is will bury Kasoo alive. Third is a tragedy which I won’t spoil and it is very sad. The whole tone of the book changes to sad, emotional and sombre and the author handles it very well.

All the characters seem real. My favourite is Raja, a journalist and a crime reporter who has connections to the top dogs. Half of Rafeeq’s work gets done because of him. The character development is amazing in this part. I agree part 1 was a set up and there was a lot of history which I enjoyed reading too but there wasn’t much character development so the story was lacking. But in this part, the author pushed the characters through a lot and it developed them good.

I guess the main theme of this part in particular was bribery and how common it is in our culture in Pakistan. People don’t even think twice before bribing someone. You can get everything done if you show the money. You can buy a police officer or a judge. Whatever you want. It is sad to say but it is true. And people depend on each other so people are forced to take bribes and get involved. In this story there is a lot of ruthlessness involved particularly the tribal area and the nawabs who are very ruthless and backward and they would stoop to any level to get something done.

Rafeeq as a character is amazing. He is a regular guy and he is forced to work with the corrupt system. He is not a hero. Sometimes you see him struggling with things, frustrated even. And you feel for him. It is so real. I really like this aspect about it.

I can’t see anything negative about this part. Everything is in order and the story is set up for more action.

The author handles the relationships with ease. There are some ‘happy’ moments where we see the work get done in the Haweli and the security and everything. Everyone is happy and interacting with each other well. Then problems arrive and they just have to deal with it.

I would rate it 4 out of 10. Excited to read more.

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Language: Urdu
Length: 272 Digest Pages
Read over 10 days in 23 hours and 43 minutes in 9 sessions.

This is a famous story which was publishing monthly in a famous digest called suspense. I started reading at episode 30 and ended at episode 50 so safe to say I have read a good middle chunk. But good to read from the start now that it is available in the book form.

It is a story of a student called Rafeeq who gets a call from his home Pakistan that he should return as soon as possible because his luck has been split open.

After some complications he finally comes to Pakistan where he finds that a vast land has been kept behind for him by his ancestors. He takes control of the land and goes to visit it. There is a big mansion which is rusting away. Soon Rafeeq finds that the servants who work there are not fully honest and something suspicious is happening within the boundaries of his land.

He confronts his rival, Rana Rajab Ali whose land is next to his. Their rivalry starts.

A nice start of a long novel. Most of it was the history of the land, how it came to Rafeeq. At times you feel the story is being stretched but it is the skill of the author that he never lets you get bored. Just sometimes the story goes sidetracked but always comes back with a bang. Will look forward reading the next parts.


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